The world’s first recovery orchestra, New Note, who focus on getting people recovering from addiction to make music has been looking into the topic of kindness. Their new performance ‘Kindness Rebellion’ was first showcased at Sussex University to celebrate ‘World Kindness Day’ and included a panel of experts on kindness including Robin Banerjee, Jonathan Birch and Bernadette Russell who wrote ‘The Little Book of Kindness’ . At the Brighthelm Centre, Brighton, the panel also had Jaime Thurston who founded the wonderful charity ’52 Lives’ who change people’s lives every week of the year.

The orchestra played original compositions and used the motif of ‘have a go music’ to create complex rhythms out of the rhythm of the words. There were other musical themes which appeared in and out of the music on a variety of instruments including banjo, bass, keyboards, tuba, guitar and hand bells to name but a few. They also gave a nod to a previous project ‘A Sense of Place’ including riffs from that.

The pieces start from improvisation sessions which are then drawn together by conductor Connell Gleeson and were played to a backdrop of video interviews from orchestra members telling their stories of kindness. The effect of storytelling and music was emotional and the music exhilarating and unique.

Their hard work was rewarded by a standing ovation at The Old Market, Hove which filled the room with appreciation, love and most of all, kindness. The orchestra continues to sustain the recovery of sobriety, social connections and creativity and founder Molly Mathieson works tirelessly to create this nourishing environment within the community.